What is the role of re-enforcing mesh in plastering?

Keep in mind, I'm not talking about the lathe, which is shown in this image. enter image description here

I'm talking about the mesh, shown in this image. enter image description here

When is a re-enforcing mesh required? Any use for it in a three layer process, using structolite and a finishing plaster?

How is it used?

Which material of mesh is preferred, for which applications?

I've seen plastic, fiberglass, and metal meshes. The latter looks like a much lighter weight version of metal lathe.

  • we had plaster on metal mesh in my dorm (we called it chicken wire at the time, but that's not accurate), and it was virtually impossible to knock a hole in the wall to run Ethernet between rooms. It takes several dremil bits to do that, don't ask me know i know. – dandavis Nov 13 at 20:58
  • J. M. Becker Are you referring to the mesh that looks like drywall tape, just a really wide roll? – tahwos Nov 13 at 23:25

The only place I seen that fiber mesh used in the newer Exterior Insulation Finish System (EIFS) system of stucco. It goes over the insulation board, folded over the edges and mudded in with a product for the EIFS. It is similar to thinset for tilework, but I believe it is a different product. After that is coated in, the finish layer is applied. It serves to toughen up the insulation board. This is quite an over simplification of the whole system, but it gets the idea across I hope.


The main purposes of the mesh are to:

  1. Provide a good base for the plaster to adhere to.
  2. Help prevent cracks from forming in the finished plaster.

Is it required? Probably not. Is it a good idea? Yes, absolutely!

I've only seen the metal lath-type used in outdoor applications or for products like stucco. The lighter-weight and less expensive products like plastic or fiberglass are often used indoors and are preferred these days.

  • I think you are confusing re-enforcing mesh and mesh lathe. Both are types of mesh. – J. M. Becker Nov 11 at 18:51

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